tv Today in Washington CSPAN January 28, 2011 6:00am-7:00am EST
policy. >> no question 9/11 redefine the presidency because it made it abundantly clear that my most important job was to protect the country. i made a lot of controversial decisions to do that, many of which had described in the book. the truth the matter is if i had to do it over again, i would have them up for president george w. bush talked about his men more with students from southern methodist university sunday at 8:00 on c-span "q &a." >> living standards are going down in america. we have created a "new entitlements on top of the other ones we have very we owe to the country to show them a different pat. >ath. >> find out more about response to the state of the union address on line at the cspan video library. search, watch, and share all
free. this is washington your way. >> chicago voters will be selected in number on february 22. last night, the leading four candidates participated in an hour-long debate hosted by the chicago tribune, the city club of chicago, and wgn-tv. the debate happened the same day the illinois supreme court ruled that rahm emanuel is eligible to run. ♪ >> the 2011 chicago mayoral debate sponsored by the chicago tribune and the city club of chicago. good evening. i will be your moderator along beside bruce dahl. mayor, seated in no particular
order rahm emanuel, gery chico, miguel del vall, carol moseley braun. welcome, everyone. the format we have all agreed to is quite casual. there are no time limits. bruce and i will cut you off if needed so everyone has time to be heard on the topic. we encourage you to question and respond to each other. it should keep the evening quite likely. the debate is just under one hour. we will start with some big issues are city is facing. bruce has the first question. >> just a couple of hours ago the illinois supreme court ruled that mr. emanuel would it remain on the ballot. is that the right ruling? >> i am a lawyer and a former prosecutor. i do not question the ruling of the courts. the ruling stands. the fact is that the field has not changed. we are still in this and are trying to get our message out. i want to talk about job
creation in chicago, getting our schools fixed -- i am talking about the issues that affect real chicagoans. >> mr. chico, is this a distraction to the campaign? >> no. i am not challenged anyone in my career, including rahm. i am had been privileged to serve as chief of staff for the mayor, president of the school board where we brought our schools but from the brink, parks chairman where we built parks for our children. i will not do what ron emanuel has done which is proposed the single largest sales tax -- >> do you think politics was at play in the appellate court
decision? >> the good news is now that we have the supreme court decision, it is final. a flea this will be the last question for all of us about it. that decision is -- i have always said that the voters will make the decision on who will be the next mayor. i think that what is facing the city is a real debate not about my presidency but about what the residents of the city of chicago care about which is our schools, our streets, and our economic finances so we can attract businesses rather than seeing companies leave. we can keep those corporate residents appear in the city of chicago. >> we are going to talk about a lot of great ideas you all have over the next hour. none of them will get done at
the city does not resolve its financial crisis. we are looking at more than $15 billion in underfunded pension obligations. the city has got to more than $1 billion in just a few years in a parking meter money. we have debts on top of the pension obligations. how are you going to answer this crisis? will you find cuts or will you raise revenue? >> we have to begin by looking at the entire budget. we know there is waste, fraud, inefficiencies in this city's budget. we need to look at each department. we need to conduct audits. the popular term is a "forensic audit." we have to look at each line line by line and immediately began to cut back those deputies that report to the deputies, those patriot's
petitions that have existed in the city of chicago that are protected by the aldermen and other folks -- we have to send a strong message to the voters that we are going to reform government and we are going to start by getting our fiscal policy in order. that means collecting all of those unpaid water bills because someone knows someone who works at city hall and do not pay their water bills. we will take the surplus dollars in tip money that should have been going to the district in the first place. we created to meet debt districts in the city of chicago. we have to change the way we pick up garbage, change it to a grid system. we are going to have to patch together a budget to get us to this difficult time.
there is more than $1 billion in revenue that we had in 2007 when the recession started. we will get that revenue back as the economy improves. there is a lot of sacrifice that has to be made. it has to be made by those who have been able to get by because of their political connections and because of the big fat contracts they got from city hall. contractors will have to reduce their costs. a lot of pain for a lot of people will be necessary. >> the city will have to come up with a $550 million property- tax increase. >> we will have to go back to the general assembly and get a amendment to that all that will allow us to wrap up over a period of years. the property tax is the most unfair tax that we have.
>> even if you run to the legislation, you still have the obligation. >> i was just getting to the other part. if we are able to get dollars for the employer contribution, i am, that we get the unions back to the table to talk about increasing the employee contribution. i, as an employee, will not agree to that unless my employer contributes to that fund. >> we have budget problems and issues to resolve, but i would not go so far as to call a crisis. that panics people. we have to do several things. we have to grow the economy, balanced growth, take into account job creation in the neighborhoods, not just downtown. we have to put what we have to better use. use the efficiencies in the way city government operates.
if we modernize some of the back office functions, it is estimated we could save almost $80 million just by doing that. then there is what professor simpson talked about as the "corruption taxpayer "it is $50 million a year that goes to kick to the commissioner and talk to another deputy. it is difficult for small businesses to get started in chicago. if we roll out the red carpet to them, it makes it easier for them to get started. we can give the medium-sized business is the kind of support they need. we have great assets here. we have all kinds of assets we can bring to bear to help stimulate the growth. continued growth, innovation, and exporting from the city -- we can rise from the ashes of this recession.
>> i believe this. i am the only person on this panel this evening that as but a municipal budget together. i have but 16 of them together. each and everyone has a surplus. there is no doubt you have to overhaul the city government operations. you got to have a plan first. we have excess of management in our cd system that has to be eliminated. we have excess management in our city system that has to be eliminated. the city clerk's office has become irrelevant. in addition to a number of cuts we will have to make as reshaping downsize the budget, we will have to adopt best practices. propped bill pay debt. right now, we do not pay our bills on time and it cost us money. you have to grow new
entrepreneurial sources of revenue. i have talked about advertising. bring the 14,000 lots the city owns that pay no taxes back under the tax rolls. i will not tax people and get a whole new way as mr. emanuel has suggested. we are talking about imposing a sales tax on barbers, child care, car washes, you name it. >> let me answer your first question. i believe you have to go to the budget and ask the fundamental questions. i propose we spend $500 million on health care in the city. a comprehensive wellness plan white the private sector. if you centralized procurement
across all functions -- the corporate fund as well as the other funds and centralize it, $40 million in savings. i have laid out specific ideas addressing exactly that to make these statements and change the way you do business in the city government. also, residents pay water bills, businesses pay, the nonprofits do not pay. they do not have to pay the same rate, but didn't we subsidize them in the tax code, they can also pay to make up the difference. those are specific ideas with specific numbers on how to solve that problem. >> you were opposed to taxing the nonprofits in the editorial building. >> no, not at all.
i was the first candidate to say no to taxes, number one. as for the nonprofits, the water and sewer subsidies we currently provide is one that does not make sense anymore. i think we should end the subsidies. >> she did in the editorial board agree on that point the that right now residents pay, small businesses play, nonprofits do not, and that is not fair. it is not the same rate, but there is a big hole there. i had the same issue on sales tax. i propose a 20% reduction in sales tax. we have the highest sales tax in the city. i do not think it is fair for a single mother with two kids who is trying to buy school supplies to pay higher sales tax to people probably do not pay. people who rent a limousine do not pay. i think a single mother or a
family buying school supplies should pay less and the retail merchants will report a 24% reduction in tells tax. it will provide $200 for working families while -- i think a 20% sales tax cut for the city with the highest sales tax in the country, it is time to give working families a 20% cut in the sales tax. >> it is not a 20% cut. it makes no sense to call this a luxury tax if the way it is described right now as far as i understand it is to charge the same single mother for child care. to charge the same single mother to take her pet to the groomer to get clipped -- 9% more. i do not understand it. >> can i say one thing?
when we were at the wttw, you said you're for cutting sales tax. here, you're taking a deposition. that's ok. i proposed exactly how to do it. a 20% cut in sales tax, because i think a working mother should not been paying more than a person who rents a limousine or a corporate jet. >> here is a place we will have to spend a lot of money. discuss how to get rid of crime in the city. >> if i may, it is not just a matter of taxes. it is a matter of fees as well. we pay more to park in downtown chicago then they pay in manhattan. we are faced with giving away the right to collect those revenues for the next 25 years. i think that -- first, no new taxes. take a look at how the policy decisions that have been made before and correcting some of
that can move the city in the direction of balanced growth so that making men and women can be encouraged to stay in chicago, relocate here to the city. >> you're saying you would reverse the parking meters? >> absolutely. it was a bad deal for chicago in every way. the city sold $100 million. that is what the inspector general was worth $3 billion to $5 billion. i think we need to renegotiate its, bring the parties to the table. there have been two lawsuits. if we do have to pay it back, we will have the benefit of the revenue coming to the city. right now, the revenue from the parking meters does not come to the city.
>> there has been a very oppressive climate created in the city of chicago as a result of all the fees, tickets, red light cameras, and the parking meter deal. there is a need to review the entire revenue structure in the city of chicago and to make modifications. we give people big issues over two tickets. we need to collect our revenue, but it is time for us to be sensitive to what is happening in the neighborhoods where people have had it up to here with the city. it is time for us to do a total revamping of the revenue structure. that means all the fees, all the fines -- and come up with
something that makes sense that allows us to be able to implement our laws, but not in an oppressive way. we see people coming into the clerk office with a hardship cases and we give them the cold shoulder in the city of chicago. we need to be more sensitive while at the same time making sure we watched that bottom line. we cannot continue to stand and raise revenue on the backs of the middle class who are trying to survive. it is tough out there. because it is tough out there, government has to change. >> miguel is right. people feel nickeled and dined on the taxes and fees across the city.
i have proposed a 20% reduction in the sales tax for the city. i have also proposed eliminating the employee a head tax. the number-one reason some plants are not competitive is because of the head tax. i have also opposed the way we tax natural gas and utilities. the fact is, people across the city filled nickeled and dimed. we can provide sensible and balanced tax cuts for the working families. it will help companies add people. >> how would you modify the chicago police department? >> mr. chico wants to put more officers on the street.
>> i think the number one issue on the minds of people is public safety, without a doubt. yesterday i proposed a crime and safety plan. standing with me was a woman by the name of gloria patron. she had lost her 13-year-old son to gang fire. she was struck six years later. i promised her i would do everything in my power to bring the right amount of police to our city so her son or any other child would not have to go through that again. in 1993 we brought 1000 police officers onto the force. i think i am the only person who brought officers to the force. >> you cannot take credit for what mayor daley did. >> i recommended it.
we let our manpower drop down to a point that is dangerously low right now. we have ravaged our caps program. we are using one-man cars. we are not able to have the right amount of foot-patrols. we can hire 2000 police officers i get a budget of $6.50 billion. that amounts to about 2.5% to 3%. anyone who cannot modify a city budget to come up with 2000 police officers, which is the number-one issue for people in the city, should not be mayor. >> i helped president clinton passed the assault weapon ban -- the brady bill. the simple strategy for 1994
which was novel than about putting more police on the streets and getting guns off the streets. i know how to find 1000 additional officers. second, a comprehensive after- school program. two-thirds of juvenile violence occurs between the hours of 3:00 and 6:00. we have to prosecute the gun laws we have on the books. i think jerry reese needs to go. the philosophy should not be about adding more bureaucrats to the central office. it is about understanding the beat officers are the backbone of the police department. my father was a police officer for 25 years in the city of chicago. all but also like to know it that the after-school program is essential.
i was down on the south side. i was greeting visitors. a young man stopped me and said, "i would like to show you something." he held out a contract. he said, "i started my own after-school program. the parents sign a contract involving them in our academic life." that is the academic approach we should be taking. >> this is not just about adding more police officers. it is about building communities. you do not build communities with a program here and a program there. you build communities by addressing the issues that are confronting them on a day-to- day basis like unemployment and the lack of a quality education.
we need community learning centers at each school, which is what i have opposed, where the entire family is engaged in learning and building communities. when the school because the anchor of the neighborhood, small businesses are developed. we still have small businesses that cannot get started because they are waiting for the city council to approve a permit. that takes two months. you can have a three-point plan or a four-point plan, but if you are not organizing committees said that they become strong communities, you will continue to have public safety problems due out the city of chicago. we are not headed in the right direction right now. >> my brother is a police officer as were my uncle and my father. i was a former federal
prosecutor myself. law enforcement cannot just the top down, it has to be bottom up. you have to deal with prevention. i have unfortunately have to take the blame for the three strikes and you're out. if law enforcement -- what we have now is a dearth of attention to prevention. a lot of these young people are hanging out on street corners in getting into trouble. my grandmother used to say, "i do not like the devil's workshop." we are not giving these kids anything to look forward to. they do not have music and physical education in the schools.
that gives rise to the sky high dropout rate we have in our city. they also do not have jobs to look forward to when they leave school. >> the chicago unemployment rate is 9.5%, much higher in some neighborhoods. when wal-mart wanted to bring jobs into the city, the city council existed and block the expansion of wal-mart. >> the answer comes not with the giants like wal-mart, but with dr. been worse. if we encourage entrepreneurship in the communities to create jobs these young people can take, wheat will be able to adjust the balance growth issue for our city as well as give young people opportunities. if the giants want to come in, they should come in. you cannot have people working for less than minimum wage and expect to have the help the
city. it costs $5 an hour to park at the movies. it is $4.50 to take the bus to go somewhere. people have expenses that the less than minimum wage will not cover. we cannot have a tale of two cities. we have to have a city that works for everybody. that means job creation, focusing on neighborhoods, focusing on under a partnership and innovation. >> i think to become a small business friendly city, we have to concentrate on job creation. we have not released that created an entrepreneur will spirit that can lead to innovation, that leads to the development of new products, and can happen because chicago has done that before. our history shows that. we do not have that kind of climate in the city of chicago. what we talk about? changing the residency rules
that allow police officers, firemen, and teachers to live outside the city of chicago. we are training the city of the middle class that is needed to provide balance and economic growth throughout the city of chicago. we need our role models in our neighborhoods for our kids. we need teachers. we need firemen. we need police officers. we the city employees. we needed to keep their tax dollars here. the contract dollars are paying their salary. >> i think after 40 years we may entertain the topic of residency in the city. i think the city is strong enough to do that. i am not worry about losing the middle class. this is something that rahm and i can talk about. the issue of jobs is absolutely critical. i was at a press conference yesterday in a small coffee shop with three people.
right next to it was a sandwich shop with five people working in it. that is a jobs. 80% of business in chicago are small businesses. just this morning, i was with a group of hardware store owners. there was a guy he wanted to open a new hardware store on the north side of the city. he was waiting one year for permits. that is unacceptable. that is outrageous. we can change this. i put forward a jobs plan that calls for a recent court -- we orientation a city hall to get it behind businesses that want to expand. we are losing opportunity after opportunity. we have 14,000 parcels of land in this city that they never taxes. we should give those away if necessary to bring companies and jobs on to those parcels. we need to write down the rest for a short period of time to bring people to these abandoned storefronts, picks them up, and
give small businesses going again. it is important to realize that a 3, 4, 5, or 10-person company really defines what chicago is. >> within the first two months if i am elected mayor, i would call not only the big box stores, but regrets street store owners into the office. it is cheap economic development. it is good, stable jobs. i have talked to walgreen's where they are bringing in fresh tertiaries to their sales in parts of the store. there are parts of this city where if i was on roosevelt, people are driving all the way down. that is crazy. i will bring them in. i would like to them the facts of life. there are areas of the city that
should have pressed restores. target, wal-mart, the other stores like walgreens -- get them investing in those neighborhoods and economic development. number two, the university of chicago is an example. they are talking about a new biomedical program. let's move that forward and give them exactly what they need out of zoning. there are other companies that want to turn it into a biomedical campus to bring the types of jobs necessary to chicago. the university of chicago's research facility can be a leader in the biomedical space. >> must talk a little bit about schools. >> i am the only person on this panel that has actually started
a small business. i started -- we are talking law firms. that is a slightly different conversation. we can talk about law firms if you want to go there. [laughter] my little company is in a food desert. i have an organic beverage company. i know what small businesses have to confront try to do business in the city. it is very difficult because of all the different steps and changes. our city government all too often operates like a criminal. you do not know where to go. >> how would you be as a steward of the city? >> given that we are coming through a recession and i get a business going -- i kept my employees. i did not fire anybody. i think we could do a lot with a little. >> what we're taxes consistently late?
>> because of a strike to keep a small business billing that was a start up in the middle of the recession. there are other members of this panel that pay their property taxes late. i created a job in the inner city at the start of a recession. we are still in business. hopefully we will be able to grow now that the economy is turning around. >> i paid it was late. i moved to washington to work as president obama's chief of state. out of 24 times, i was on time 23. >> mine was when i started my new company. there was a reason for it, but they were paid.
all my taxes were paid would never supposed to be paid. i paid penalties for paying later than the first day for payment, but i paid the penalty and i was able to balance my company's budget and we are doing fine. i started a business in the inner-city in a food desert to try to get attention to the food supply and the toxic chemicals in our food supply. i was on a mission. that mission, so far, has been successful. >> he made $320,000 in 14 months. you had an accounting scandal on your watch. did you earn the money? >> first of all, i was appointed as vice chair to the housing authority. secondly, that was the reason that president clinton appointed me over 20 other people.
third, the report that you talked about does not mention me at all. the reason i was on there is because we were doing innovative things in the city of chicago. that is why i got the appointment. >> you have an advertisement that says politicians should not get rich off the backs of people. >> $320,000 is what they pay at the time. >> do you feel bad about it? did you earn it? >> i was the vice chair of the chicago housing authority. we were doing something innovative here. the reason i was asked by president clinton is because he wanted somebody's approach on that as it related to freddie mac. >> mr. chico, -- >> i did not hear an answer to your question. >> you were one of the main partners at a law firm.
had you explain what happened to the farm and the role you played in its collapse? if he could not manage that, how can you manage the city of chicago? >> i am not happy about what happened, but there is a vote of about 57 partners to close our business. we welled up our affairs and moved on. i did too. i started my business after that with two people. in the middle of that same recession, i have grown it to about 40 people. i am very proud of it. >> if i may, i have in my career never profited from public service. i have no government contracts with my little company. i took no government loans or anything like that. let's be honest, most of your clients are people who do business with the city of chicago. you have gone from one revolving door to another. quite frankly, rahm, you have gone from one government appointment to another.
there is a difference in public service for the benefit of the public's versus public service for the benefit of your own pocketbook. that is the distinction in this race. how d.c. public service? is it something to profit from personally for yourself, your friends, or your family? or is it something you allude to the trust of the public as a whole? that is a distinction that should not be overlooked when you talk about my small business versus a business that depends on people doing business in the city of chicago. >> each time i have been asked to serve as the mayor's chief of staff, school board president, park board president, i stepped up and never has there been a suggestion that i did anything but pursue the public interest. i just want to state the facts. >> you had 89 clients that
either lobbied the city or discussed business with the city. >> you seem to have a long memory for this kind of thing. >> we will start with then empowered inspector general. right now, the inspector general is to water down. we should just have one. i propose the end to no-bid contracts. we do not need banking and lawyer contrast handed out to people. i said i would and the revolving door practice that people find so wrong. if he worked for the city where you are appointed for the city, which you leave for two years, you'll be unable to do business with the city of chicago.
>> i said clearly i would not accept campaign contributions from businesses contracting with the city. that is the only way we will be able to separate money from politics. it has to happen. we are known as the state of "pay to play." we have millions and millions of dollars that had been brought in by rahm and gery. they influence the decisions that will be made at city hall. that this the neighborhoods at the real disadvantage because they will not have their telephone calls returned. the telephone calls will be returned to those who've contributed millions and millions of dollars to these campaigns. we need to level the playing field so that neighborhoods pilot have a voice in the election, where we have to except the fact that it will be business as usual in city hall and we will not get the kind of reforms we need.
you are not answering the questions about the connection between politics, campaign contributions, and contracts. >> the polls show you trailing the other candidates. how would you be able to stay in this race? >> i just talked about the distinct disadvantage i have because i am sending a message to the voters that i am ready to reform chicago politics s chicago government. i am talking directly to the voters. thank goodness we had these kinds of debates. we need more of them because, otherwise, the voters would never see me. if they receive the fancy 32nd spots that rahm emanuel can afford. we have to do it the old- fashioned way.
it is time to put the people back into the definition of liability for the candidate. that means being out in the neighborhoods. it does not mean raising millions and millions of dollars and having a campaign that will cost $12 million. >> we gave you a chance to ask each other questions. we learned a lot for the questions as well as the answer. >> i think i will just wait. thank you. [laughter] >> mr. chico? >> i have a question for rahm. this does concern me ever since you proposed it. that is the single largest sales tax we have ever seen. i am very concerned about that because i care very deeply about the working men and women throughout this city. i cannot see handing another 9% on common services --
barbershops, child care, pet clippings. i do not know how you can do that. >> what i propose is that the wttw -- a 20% cut in sales tax is a 20% cut in sales tax. i believe a burnley says we are talking about working families that a mother who is buying school products or clothes for key is to start school is paying the highest sales tax of any city in the country where people who rent and charter private jets, limousines -- are not paying anything. i do not think that is fair. for a working family, it is a cut of about $200. ford motor co. is thinking of a
third shift. they put it as the number-one reason they are at a disadvantage. i propose another change in reform of taxes. as the price goes up, you pay more. it forces energy efficiency. i would note that the retail merchants on sales tax support this proposal. it would be a big win-win situation for the basic, working, middle-class family. that could change where you actually have a tax code because finally some of the people coming in and out of this city would actually pay the corporate tax. they would hire the people and pay a sales tax. we would see working families get a 20% reduction in their sales tax.
they deserve that. >> that is not a cut to go from 0 to 9%. >> i have a question for gery. i talked to someone today to was laid off by at&t. the individual said they are going to go back to school at a community college so they can get new credentials and be able to find another job. when you were with the community colleges for a short time -- it was about seven months -- you proposed eliminating the development of courses in training those for community-based organizations. i would say there is not enough to offer that service, but in the process of eliminating the development of courses, you are looking out a huge population
that is in need of a second or third chance to be able to transition to college-level courses that will allow them to be more competitive out there as they are struggling to find employment. why did he propose that? >> it is simple. as the government, we have to take fresh looks at things. we felt that 100 students beginning to pursue sac's degree, only seven ever got one. it told us there was something wrong with what we were doing. we never ever wanted to lead a student behind. what we wanted to examine was how we were providing the service. here is what was happening -- and i agree with you. many students do need developmental courses. we want to help them. what was happening in the situation we saw was that students were burning through basic recovery courses and their pell money ran al. we wanted to see what we could
do more effectively to help people. there is a wonderful committee- based organization that does a better job of its nursing program that we did at the city college. i think that is important to allow for community organizations, which i know you come from, to let them have a role in educating our kids. >> because i developed one of those programs at the community level and spent 20 years in dealing with education policy, i know that the capacity to do what you are proposing is not there. those students are going to be let out on the streets. >> i think that is a bright line. the attitudes toward privatization of education, both elementary, secondary, and college level -- and there is an attitude that says we are
going to privatize the community colleges instead of keeping them public institutions that are open to everybody. we are going to have a charter schools instead of focusing on the neighborhood public schools. that attitude is one i am against. gery has embraced over the year and i do not want to speak on rahm's record, but i know for a fact that might view that public education is a public good is something we should all be concerned about. >> if you oppose charter schools? >> i do not oppose charter schools, the ones we have already. i would not focus on developing more of them. i think the issue is to develop and bolstered our neighborhood schools and to improve public education. public schools have to take everybody. they cannot decide what to do that they want. they cannot cherry-pick. the charter schools can cherry pick students.
the question is, how many kids are we going to wind up having left behind because their parents do not have the ability to provide otherwise for them or they are children that have other issues that a charter school does not want to deal with? what happened in the neighborhoods? when i was going up in the city, i could walk to school in my neighborhood and get a quality education. we have to get back to that in the city of chicago. the schools serve everybody. >> i wish i could do this over the dinner table with my kids. it would be helpful. community colleges are the lifeblood of our economy in the sense of training workers who want to move on from one job to the next. you have touched on an important topic.
to many of our kids coming out of high school are going to committee college. they are borrowing money, paying loans, and repeating what they should have learned in high school. we have a good model of a pilot project in the city of chicago where high school students get up to the level where they end up going to community colleges. during the high school years, they are already getting the training they need. we need to scale back up as part of the proposals made last month. we need to make sure that high schools and community colleges are linked up to these kids are not borrowing money and getting behind. that is something we ought to challenge the for-profits to do for our kids. if you do want to go on to wait for their education, have the skills and knowledge ready.
>> you are referring to dual- credit. >> this is an essential point. 47% of the kids in the city of chicago are dropping out of high school. they drop out rate in committee college is higher because they do not have the basic skills. i propose we get a new curriculum that teaches towards college or career training. 53% of disputes to go to college end up going to committee colleges. i am am a strong supporter of charter schools. i believe in competition and choice. when you take out north side and you take out walter payton, the best performing high schools are charters.
they are not the solution, but the choice they provide is a solution to the problem. >> i am happy to have ushered in charter schools in 1995 and 1996. they gave parents a choice. that is what this is about. in regards to miguel's question, we have dueled- enrollment. in the last 10 years, this is don silent. i agree it is wrong. it has to come back. the chicago public schools have lost their momentum. i believe that. things like this have gone into the deep freeze. they need to come back out. >> if you are going to throw in the towel on public education, you can hang up a sign that says they are closed.
they do not have to take all the kids at charter schools. if we are going to build a strong city, we have to have balance in the way we approach the issue. i have a friend that has a charter school for girls at the high-school level. research shows it worse for girls. let's define things in terms of innovation. i have no problem with that. you cannot just throw in the towel and not focus in on rebuilding the infrastructure of our neighborhood schools, making certain that every child, every school, and every
neighborhood is one a child to give to to get a quality education. the child should be left behind were turned away. that is the important thing. >> some time ago the decision was made to set up a parallel system of public education in the city of chicago which once had been selected and roulette, and schools, charter schools and the other being neighborhood schools. i talk with families everyday to struggle with the decision on where to send their preschoolers to school because they do not believe the school down the street from where they live is good. we need to protect as many academic options as possible. the fact of the matter is, until we improve our neighborhood schools, we are going to strengthen the neighborhoods. that is the bottom line. >> we are down to what we are calling the final five minutes of the debate.
it went by so quickly. we are going to get each one of you a minute. let's say you are knocking on the door to the people out there, what is or stop speech? why should they be voting for you as a mayor? i do not want to hear anything we have already heard. >> first of all, i think the city, as yogi berra would say, when you get to the fork in the road, take it. we cannot keep doing what we are doing and expect results. that is true about our schools and investing in the quality of our teachers, giving parents of the sidelines and involved in their kid's education. we also have to do something about crime. we have to have somebody u.s. the strength, determination, brit, and resilience to see that change through. in my public life, whether it was taking on the insurance companies to get kids health care or taking on the nra -- i have taken on special interests
and have the resilience to see that change through. >> thank you for having us. i believe so strongly in the future of our city. i know we can do this. there is no doubt about it, our problems are large financially in the city and public schools. i am very optimistic. it will not be done by wishful thinking or an idea here or an idea there. it takes planning so that we are following a path to get there. i am very proud of my career of having dealt with these issues and balanced 16 municipal budgets. this is the kind of experience we need to get into these situations, but these budgets back in shape, and give us the tools we need to bring jobs to our city, bring police and other programs we need to get our neighborhoods safer, and to
make sure families stay in the city. we do not want to lose people. they will not stay if we do not offer them a quality education, good jobs, and public safety. i am prepared to bring each of those three to our city. people should have confidence that we have a bright future. >> i love this city. this is my home. i stepped forward and not because of any interest to serve myself, but to serve the people of chicago and to bring to bear the skill set i have developed over the years in local, state, national, and international government to help grow our city in a way that serves every community, every neighborhood. every neighborhood matters. we are all proud to be part of the city. we need to bring each other together as people and tap the rich diversity of our neighborhoods and bring all the talents we can muster to solve
at work to our respective problems. we all know what our problems are. they have to do with rebuilding our neighborhood schools and public safety in our neighborhoods. i was on 87th street the other day and gunshots force made to the floor of the car. we have to make our communities safer. our seniors are not hostages in their homes. i am getting close to the end of my minute, right? i want to bring the experience i have to bear on solving these problems. i am always been a fighter. i had to fight my own party to run for the united states senate when nobody thought i could do it. i intend to bring that determination to working out the issues that our city faces. >> i think the neighborhoods are calling out for us. what type of reform are we talking about? reform that is going to ensure
there is balanced growth, balanced development. reform that is going to make sure we eliminate patronage, waste, and corruption in the city of chicago. reform that is going to see to it that we lift that oppressive cloud that hangs over the city as the result of the feast, restrictions, and hassles if people are put through just try to make a living on a day-to-day basis. i say to them that i am the candidate who is ready. i have the experience -- 20 years in the legislature, four years as a city clerk. i am getting my message directly to the voters. if they want a mayor who appeales to special interests and big money, i am not their guy. if they want someone who cares about individual residents and will work night and day to make our city if a true world-class
city with world class neighborhoods, then i am the person to work for. >> thank you very much. did you have a good time? [laughter] thank you very, very much. i am hope everybody enjoyed the debate. we are encouraging all of the voters to get out and vote. we are also helping choose to become the next mayor of chicago. we asked our viewers to stay with us for a special edition of "politics tonight." i am micah materre. good evening. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] cable satellite corp. 2011]